The Fair Housing Act received preliminary approval in the Senate on Thursday. Because the bill costs money it was tabled, however, and won't be considered for final approval until near the end of the session.
Currently, those who believe they've been discriminated against in housing can file a complaint with the federal government. But the federal office is located in Denver. Sens. K.S. Cornaby, R-Salt Lake, and Francis Farley, D-Salt Lake, want those complaints heard by state officials in Utah. That's basically what the act does.-Senators also gave preliminary approval to a bill that makes it easier to garnish paychecks of delinquent parents who aren't paying child support.
SB37 gives the state's Recovery Services Office more power to track a wayward parent, usually fathers, who may move from job to job. The bill allows administrative garnishments so the mother doesn't have to go back to court to get a garnishment in such cases.
Said sponsor Sen. John Holmgren, R-Bear River City: "Young people have to understand that teenage pregnancy means a financial responsibility taken on for years to come."
-A tax break for the poor and those living on fixed incomes who must struggle to pay rising property taxes was urged at a press conference called by Sen. Karl Swan. Swan is sponsoring a bill to boost the maximum tax relief from $300 to $550 and raise the ceiling on amount of money a family can earn and still qualify for the tax break to $15,999.
Swan said his bill, which carries a price tag of $4.3 million, is competing for a share of the state's surplus with a variety of proposals to cut taxes that would benefit all Utahns. He said he is optimistic lawmakers will want to adjust the program for inflation for the first time since it was created in 1979 but asked for groups supporting the proposal to lobby their legislators.